I probably don’t make it up to Conway nearly as often as I should 
 a problem I intend to rectify in the very near future). But recently my day job has taken me to some of the more northern parts of the state and I’ve had more opportunities to pass through C-town more frequently. Along Skyline Dr. sits a quaint little bakery named Julie’s Sweet Shoppe—I was immediately drawn to the place. Owner, Julie Goodnight, formerly churned out popular baked goods at Ed’s Custom Bakery for more than 20 years until she decided to open her own place in the fall of 2013. Seeing they are open rather early to serve breakfast (and having often found myself crossing this stretch of road before the sunrise) I determined to make a stop here recently to see what they’ve got coming from their ovens.

Breakfast here is given a good deal of attention—clearly its a favorite time of day from many of Julie’s customers. The place was already bustling at 6 am. An interesting array of donuts makes up the bulk on one morning case. Here, you’ll find your standard fare—glazed, chocolate, honey buns, and blueberry cake. But you’ll also find a number of interesting, less-commonly seen options as well—red velvet cake, blueberry fritters, and maple-bacon twists. Of course, you know I like to walk on the wild side, so I went with a few of the more exotic options. The blueberry fritter was presented in a fashion I’ve never seen before—sliced like a small loaf of bread—yet it was still glazed and filled with bright blueberries. I had no issues eating the entire thing. The red velvet was also tasty, but there was no distinguishing “red velvet” flavor—that deep cocoa flavored punctuated slightly by the acidity of buttermilk. The maple bacon bar was a bit dry and too bready for my liking, and I found the maple to be a bit too sweet (and believe me, that’s not something I often complain of).

I also grabbed a few fried pies for the road—which I gleefully ate throughout the day. If you were (or still are) a fan of the Hostess fried pies, these would likely suit your fancy as well. They were lightly fried (not excessively greasy) with a thin coat of sugary glaze. Fillings include many commonly found flavors—apple, chocolate, etc.—but I selected apricot and coconut. I was quite pleased with my selections. I particularly enjoyed the bitter-sweet flavor of real apricot, which I always find makes for excellent fried pies.

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Lastly I sampled a jalapeño sausage roll—some might even venture to call this a “kolache.” It was a respectable version of this beloved savory breakfast item. The sausage seemed to be of quality making, the breading soft and slightly sweet.

I’m destined to return to Julie’s on return visits through Conway. Post-breakfast offerings include cakes, a number of pies, cake pops, croissants, and a wide assortment of cookies. I imaging I’ll be getting to know many of Julie’s baked goods well in the coming months.

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Julie’s Sweet Shoppe & Bakery: 201 Skyline Drive Suite 39 Conway, AR. 501-205-4301 (follow link for hours and complete menu)